Skill versus Heart: My Thoughts on the Mayweather/Gatti Saga

09.04.05 - By Barry Thompson: I submit, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, in this lifetime, who would have thought that it would ever happen? The average marquee fighter would have thought of someone else to fight besides “One of the best pound for pound fighters in existence”, but Gatti is made of something different; He is a fighter, a warrior, “The Man”, and a living, breathing “Rocky” style fighter, who has a lot of heart and that fans love to watch. This does not mean that he has a “snowballs chance in hell” of winning this fight; it simply means that he has garnered further respect and adoration of his millions of fans through his willingness to fight anyone. I will admit that he does have a punchers chance and that he believes that he knows what he is in for. "No. 1, he has no class. That's who he is," Gatti said. "To me, it makes it sound like he needs to build his confidence level. I don't have to say all of that nonsense. I will make him respect me on June 25. I can't wait to see his face when he sees me across the ring. He's so disrespectful. He has no class to speak about another professional athlete like that." To Mayweather, Gatti is a “club fighter” a “C class fighter” a belt holder waiting to hand it over. An “Easy fight”, “Free money”, and who can blame a man with the skills of Mayweather, for being arrogant, for if a man going in to the square ring does not have confidence, what does he have? In Floyd’s case, the skills that back it up are the answer. I do think that Floyd lost a decision to Castillo in the first fight, and he and Castillo both agreed that Floyd won the second. Castillo, a very strong puncher, managed to hit Floyd with some damn good shots in the first fight, so we know that Floyd can take a punch (so much for the puncher’s chance). The fans will attend this fight in person and on PPV for two reasons: 1. to watch the exciting Arturo Gatti attempt the impossible (although Gatti may outweigh Floyd (140lbs) by about 12 to 15 pounds by fight time); 2. defeat a man with damn near all the skills that the game has to offer. Others will attend hoping see Floyd get his arrogant mouth shut up by their favorite fighter, Arturo. Personally, I’m not even sure which one of these fighters I’m rooting for. I have all the respect in the world for Arturo Gatti and his enormous heart and resiliency, but I marvel at the skills of the great Floyd Mayweather. If Floyd wins, (even if Gatti comes in at 160 lbs!), he still loses, because he will have destroyed the Marquee Idol. If Gatti wins, he really wins because he is such a great personality for viewers, and he made Floyd eat his words! If we were all able to focus unbiased upon this fight, Floyd wins on skill alone. But boxing is such an emotional sport for viewers (Ali may be the greatest, but a lot of his future fans once attended his fights to see him get his big mouth shut up), and the boxers themselves, that most of us cannot be objective when faced with fights like this. I believe it was Iron Mike Tyson that said: “Everybody has a plan… until they get hit!” Who’s gonna win, we all will, because this is a battle of Skill Versus Heart. Don’t Miss it!

Article posted on 08.04.2005

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